Document Detail

Deaths from substance overdose in the Lothian and Borders region of Scotland (1983-1991).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8086222     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
1. A retrospective analysis of 352 consecutive cases of fatal substance overdose that occurred in the Lothian and Borders region of Scotland (LBRS) between 1983 and 1992 (inclusive) is presented. All these cases were subjected to a full forensic autopsy with histological and toxicological studies. 2. The overall male:female ratio is 1.2:1. Males significantly predominate (1.9:1) in the 21-30 year age group, but females significantly predominate (0.7-0.9:1) above the age of 50 years (P < 0.001). A significant progressive alteration in the sex ratio is noted: from 0.7:1 in 1988 to 2.4:1 in 1992 (P < 0.001). 3. Analgesics account for 43.2% of all overdose deaths with narcotic analgesics representing 32.4%. Dextropropoxyphene is the commonest (38.2%) narcotic analgesic and fatal overdoses on it have been increasing since 1989; methadone deaths also showed an increase. Death from heroin overdose fell sharply in 1985. 4. Antidepressants account for 20.2% of deaths (tricyclics representing 19.3%): Amitriptyline is the commonest (75.0%) tricyclic and its use, particularly by female suicides, has been increasing since 1989. Barbiturate poisoning has declined considerably since 1986. 5. Temazepam comprises 65.4% of all benzodiazepines overdose deaths; two-thirds of fatal benzodiazepine abuse involve males. 6. This study once more emphasises that physicians, and especially general practitioners, must prescribe cautiously for their patients. Control through legislation of the sale of non-narcotic analgesics is worth serious consideration.
J O Obafunwa; A Busuttil
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Human & experimental toxicology     Volume:  13     ISSN:  0960-3271     ISO Abbreviation:  Hum Exp Toxicol     Publication Date:  1994 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1994-10-20     Completed Date:  1994-10-20     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9004560     Medline TA:  Hum Exp Toxicol     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  401-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Pathology, University Medical School, Edinburgh.
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MeSH Terms
Acetaminophen / poisoning
Age Factors
Aged, 80 and over
Dextropropoxyphene / poisoning
Ethanol / analysis
Middle Aged
Retrospective Studies
Scotland / epidemiology
Sex Factors
Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology,  mortality*
Suicide / trends*
Reg. No./Substance:
103-90-2/Acetaminophen; 469-62-5/Dextropropoxyphene; 64-17-5/Ethanol

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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